More and more, people recognize that good health begins in the gut. Supporting your gut health and the system within it, the microbiome, can help everything else fall into place. Four essential tips to kick-start your gut health include: 

Consume a nutrient-dense diet

If you aren’t eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, your gut is likely feeling the fallout. For the sake of your gut health, it is necessary to re-optimize your diet. Your gut can stay healthy if you make the commitment to organic, nutrient-dense, whole foods instead of processed foods, refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and junk food. Ditching all toxic and inflammatory foods, such as sugar, caffeine, gluten, alcohol, and dairy goes a long way toward restoring gut health.

Gut health benefits are gained by experimenting with new foods. A varied diet creates a healthy diversity of gut flora in your body’s microbiome. The more diverse your microbiome composition is, the more health benefits you will likely reap. When choosing fruits and vegetables,  make sure to “eat the rainbow.” That is, consume many different types of multi-colored fruits and vegetables. If you need help with meal creation, nutrient-rich and delicious recipes can be found online and in cookbooks. Choose recipes featuring a variety of fruits, vegetables, organic meats, and healthy fats to support your gut health.

Heal Underlying Gut Infections

Stress and overindulgence can increase your risk of health-draining gut infections, like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and candida overgrowth. These underlying gut infections should be addressed as soon as possible, since they can set the stage for leaky gut. When large particles leak through the intestinal barrier and enter the bloodstream, it can lead to autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, lupus, Crohn’s disease, and Graves’ disease. Talk with your medical provider about your symptoms to see if diagnostic tests are needed. Then, come up with a plan to treat any underlying infections.

Supplement with Probiotics and Prebiotics

Prebiotic and probiotic supplements play an important role in gut health. These supplements are quite different from one another and work together to improve gut health. Prebiotic supplements contain non-digestible fibers that supply a fermentation platform in the gut for the beneficial bacteria (the probiotics) to reach healthy and balanced levels. Probiotic supplements contain and foods contain live, beneficial bacteria that help keep your gut in balance. It’s also helpful to get the probiotics your body needs through consuming fermented foods. These include products such as:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Yogurt
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir 
  • Home-fermented
  • vegetables 

A diet consisting of inflammatory foods, chemical stressors such as glyphosate, and other environmental toxins, can all feed and support the “bad” bacterial species in the gut. Furthermore, taking even a single round of antibiotics wipes out the gut bacteria.

Get Plenty of Good Quality Sleep

Sleep provides the body with an opportunity to repair and recover. Notably, the relationship between gut health and sleep goes both ways. Interrupted sleep and circadian rhythms can impact the health and diversity of the microbiome. Conversely, an unhealthy gut flora population can cause sleep problems. Repair and rejuvenate your gut and make gut health part of your daily life. You can feel the difference a healthy gut can make!